Heading into the 2019 U Sports track and field championships, Spencer Allen—already the greatest pole vaulter in University of Alberta history—was the heavy favourite and set to join just a handful of athletes to win three consecutive national championships in the sport.

Ready to rewrite the U Sports track and field record book, Allen arrived in Winnipeg only to find out his poles were destroyed in transit.

This misfortune forced Allen into action using borrowed equipment. He still fought his way to a respectable 4.95 metres to finish a mere five centimetres behind the day’s highest flyer from Guelph.

For context, Wes Moerman, U of A track and field head coach, likened the prospects of being at your best using a borrowed pole to Connor McDavid winning a scoring title using a wooden stick.

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